Passport recently sponsored Biketoberfest in the Charlotte, NC area. Sustain Charlotte, a non-profit organization helping to advance a region-wide sustainability movement, hosted the event in the city’s South End. The first-time event promoted sustainable transportation by creating a scavenger hunt for participants, urging them to walk, bike, or take public transportation across 20 different stops. Riders collected stamps in the official Biketoberfest Passport at places such as Triple C Brewing Co., Lenny Boy Brewing Co., and Romare Bearden Park. To earn passport stamps, people were responsible for completing sentences on canvas paper about what they believe Charlotte could look like. It was designed to engage the community.

Passport’s support of the event included designing and printing the material, a booklet for participants to carry around the event. The booklet was printed by MetroGraphics, a locally owned business committed to sustainable printing practices. The booklet was even printed on recycled paper.

"MetroGraphics is pleased to be the print partner for Biketoberfest & Passport," said Cherylanne Weaver, Account Executive at MetroGraphics. "We are a locally owned and operated commercial printing company committed to sustainability in our manufacturing. We implement recycling in our daily operations as well as utilizing eco-friendly products wherever possible and as technology advancements allow more eco-friendly processes in our operation. For the Biketoberfest Passport booklet we used a recycled content paper to support sustainability. We will continue to adjust our manufacturing to include as many environmentally friendly products & processes become available."

“This was an exciting project to work on because of the unique collaboration and also because the event supported such a great cause,” said Passport’s Mia Bernad, who designed the Biketoberfest Passport. “It is satisfying when the work you do actually makes a difference.”

Why Sustainability Matters

According to Sustain Charlotte’s website, 93% of Mecklenburg County residents drive a car to work. 83% drive alone. This creates congestion and pollution. A more sustainable system involves activating other modes of traveling, including biking, walking, and riding the Lynx, Charlotte’s own light rail system.

Biketoberfest was created as a conversation starter around creating a more sustainable city.

“We wanted to do a large-scale event that got people talking about a shared goal. We wanted to show people how fun and easy it is to ride a bicycle around South End and Uptown. Biketoberfest was a demonstration of what our community would look like if bicycling and walking were a larger part of our culture as well as a chance to participate in small-scale versions of events and facilities that other cities around the country and the world are doing.  Mostly, Biketoberfest was a day to cast a vision and get people excited to be the leaders who will shape our community,” said Jordan Moore, Program Director at Sustain Charlotte.

“We saw a natural fit between Biketoberfest and our mission as a company,” said Daniel Bliley, Director of Marketing at Passport. “We are creating innovative technologies that improve the process of getting from A to B. We deliver intelligent solutions to cities that enable them to offer trip planning, tracking, and mobile payment platforms for parking and commuting. This makes it easier to find and pay for parking, buy passes on a light rail system like the Lynx, and keep all of your information together on your mobile phone. Supporting Sustain Charlotte’s efforts, right here in our backyard, is a great way to showcase what mobility can become.”

“Our partners were invaluable. Without them, this would be impossible. Passport provided the printing. Other partners like Discovery Place worked with Trips for Kids to allow a full-scale bicycle build on Tryon Street.  The Parks and Recreation Department brought staff to engage and educate people on open streets. They also connected me with BB&T and got a large digital screen to project images of open streets from around the world.  None of these things would have happened if this was just a dream in my head.  Without our partners, there was no Biketoberfest,” said Moore.

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